Why You Should Care When The Clock Strikes Wine O’Clock (Thoughts On The Enolytics 2016 Report)

My first reaction to the recently-published study/synopsis on “Wine O’Clock” issued by the new firm Enolytics:

Well… yeah… no sh*t!

My second reaction to the recently-published study/synopsis on “Wine O’Clock” issued by the new firm Enolytics:

Wait… holy crap! This is actually important (and I am an idiot)!

At first blush, you might have the same misguided reaction to the report that I did (following the link above, you can read the free version; the full report will set you back $399). Essentially, the study suggests that wine consumers are most willing to engage in content and purchase research about wine during the time that you would most likely guess that they’re drinking the stuff. To wit, here’s a screen-print from the free version of the report:

image: enolytics.com

There you go; we ramp up on such activity from about 4-5PM to 9PM, local time. I don’t know about you, but if you asked me when Wine O’Clock was, I’d have guessed those exact times with an accuracy of about 30 minutes on either side. The report goes on to state:

“Wine consumer engagement increases sharply beginning at 4pm and declines sharply after 9pm (local time).”

So… we start engaging about wine when we imagine drinking the stuff right before dinner, and stop when we are either too drunk to care, need to put the kids to bed, or fall into a stupor of self-loathing and cry ourselves to sleep, etc.

Now, before you succumb to the temptation to declare “no shit!” and pour yourself a glass (assuming it’s around 4PM local time), there’s more to this story that you need to see. Take a quick peek under the kimono of the Wine O’Clock report, and (assuming it’s closer to 4PM local time for you than 9PM, and you’re still sober enough), you’ll see why it’s actually pretty important info. for the wine world…

  • Let’s start with what makes the study scientifically legit: it has statistics on its side. 2.06 million first-party data points from the Hello Vino app’s 2.1 million wine consumer user-base. While that isn’t perfect, no data set is, and so it makes sense statistically to go with what is technically the most-downloaded wine app if you want a wide U.S. data set.
  • Next, the data set itself is based on what wine consumers are doing organically, utilizing “data records generated by consumers using the Hello Vino app to research and catalog wine purchases.” So, this is studying the natives in their natural habitat, so-to-speak, without the potential influence of an obvious study.
  • Finally, the importance of the Wine O’Clock report for wine-biz types is best explained by the self-stated goal of the study by Enolytics (emphasis is mine): “Wine O’Clock identifies the specific daily and hourly time-frames of consumers’ peak engagement with wine-related content and purchase research activity.”

So… you’ve got a native data set that is geographically broad and deep in terms of volume (so, it’s statistically relevant in terms of drawing conclusions from it), and you’ve got a window into when consumers are naturally engaging in activities that could lead them to purchases. If you’re a researcher of consumer behavior, that’s a pretty damned good starting point.

I see three useful implications from this study:

  1. Anyone trying to market to wine consumers organically (and hey, wine-biz folks, you are trying to do this, right?!??) now has an inexpensive window into some of the best times to potentially influence individual wine research and purchase decisions,
  2. Wine consumers can expect wine marketing types to start to ruin their Wine O’Clock with ill-suited, boorish attempts at applying outdated/inappropriate marketing schemes online and in-app,
  3. Those who are already seeing positive results from consumer outreach in social media and wine app communities have an opportunity to totally kill it (in a good way, I mean) by applying those same approaches in targeted local time-frames during “Wine O’Clock.”

I seriously hope that we see more of #3 than of #2, but… well… sadly, we have the entire history of all marketing in all disciplines to prove us wrong, don’t we?

Cheers!

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